Folder Tab - observations on interface

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

There are a few things I would like to comment on about the Folder Tab interface.

  • Double clicking on an unoccupied part of the folder tab toolbar opens a new tab... re-using the current folder. It would be really handy if there could be an option to affect this, I'd rather have the new tab open the default listers starting folder.

  • The separation between tabs on the toolbar is a bit tough to distinguish. Could an option be added in the future to color the current/active folder tab based off of the the darker menu gradient or toolbar image gradient colors?

  • Less important but similar to the above - the current/active lister tab would implicitly be the {source} lister. Being able to identify the {destination} lister (if represented by an open folder tab) could be a handy visual footprint as well.

  • It would be handy to have an option to NOT bring the selected folder tab into lister focus when clicking and dragging it to move it's position on the folder tab toolbar.

  • Lastly; and this is major so most likely this will have you feeling like I am truly an ingrate... The tabs alone are great to help reduce taskbar clutter, but being able to cascade/tile or otherwise arrange each file/folder display within the file lister area of the UI would really bring this feature full circle. It would imply a subset of the Pin, Zoom, Minimize, Restore, and Close buttons be added to the far right of the folder tab toolbar.

Thanks for extending the Folder Tab mgmt. functions to the internal command set. Great job!

Nice idea, will add this.

Not sure what you mean - could you do a screenshot to illustrate the problem?

Again not really sure what you mean here.

Ok will consider this.

Nope, no chance sorry. An MDI interface in the Lister is not on the drawing board.

Jon

Thanks for the time going over these observations Jon... particularly since they are ideas and suggestions on changing stuff you've just worked hard on implementing. I for one appreciate the good work you guys do, and any suggestions I make are just that - my voice on how I'd like to see stuff.

  • For the option to open the default lister starting folder - thanks alot.

  • For the explicit 'no way' as to the MDI based window mgmt... I had to try :slight_smile: but thanks for the clear no, I will not bother you guys with it again for at least a few major versions :slight_smile:.

  • For the 2 related comments regarding the tabs on the folder tab toolbar. Let me try and explain one more time before a screenshot - I'm on a lousy laptop at the moment and working the keys and mouse like a knuckle draggin mouse clicking Windows monkey...

Basically, the actual tab 'buttons' representing each seperate file display opened in a 'tab' are like most tabbed UI's where the 'active' one is sort of 'popped' to the foreground and the non-active ones are kind of de-accented and sitting sort of in the 'background'. The transistion is certainly visible enough when you click on a different tab button to make it the active folder... but as I'm working it's not clear 'at a glance' which button is the 'one I'm currently in'. It's not a big deal at all, as you can obviously look at the tab title to see the relative folder you're in... but particularly in the case I've got folders of the same name but in different locations open in tabs... it would help for the active one to be somehow highlighted to distinguish it a bit from the non-active folder tabs. This way I don't inadvertently drag some files onto the tab of the lister I'm currently in...

I suggested the darker of the gradient colors as an example of what 'color' to use to highlight the active tab without thinking. Some themes (like the default 'plain') don't use 'fading' colors where the toolbar is darker on the far left than on the far right... though if you do have a theme like this installed, it might be visually nice to use those colors. I'll try and get a screenshot of what I mean up here a little later. But again, not a big deal... just a visual refinement I would welcome.

  • One other (new/unrelated to my previous post items) thing I've noticed though with the folder tabs is that you can open a bunch of different folders in tabs, save it as a layout, and all the open folder tabs are preserved. NIIICE - thank you for the attention. I thought I'd mention though that the folder tree doesn't expand to the 'active' folder tab. Not sure if that's something anyone would care about... and thought some people would even prefer it that way, but just figured I'd bring it up. Hitting to refresh the lister display then expands the folder tree to wherever the active folder tab is pointing.

Jon... thanks so much for the hard work man! I especially love and appreciate some of what others might consider 'small' changes, like the multi-wildcard extension in the advanced rename utility.

Wow, I'm pretty impressed with this Preview. A lot of small (and big) things that are very helpful. Nice attention to detail.

Since downloading the release last night, I've been keeping a listing of obeservations and now after reading the reply from jon regarding MDI, i'm kinda depressed :confused: Dont get me wrong, I'm very greatful, but as I said before, I would pay extra for an advanced tab interface ONLY if it behaved like a normal MDI with windows inside each lister.

Here's what I found regarding tabs:

  1. each lister has own "window/workspace" with minimize, maximize, close button on right of "tab bar" for each tab, and each tab is it's own window; same as most programs MDI

  2. new tab button on left side of tabs (actually double-click un-occupied tab area would remedy this, but hey I love DO powerful configuration and don't like to be restricted now; sry, but DO has spoiled me :smiley:)

  3. Abiltiy to make buttons in "tab bar" -- this would take care of making new tab, minimize, maximize, close buttons

  4. NEWTAB argument to open a specified directory without the tab being blank

    • actually figured this out: "Go NEWTAB Go /MyComputer" (this should help you out steje)
  5. customize > context menus --> Tab bar context menu needed?

Looks like most of these have been discussed already, but I'm just giving this as what I noticed in the past day and as steje has said, speaking my voice and thoughts be known.

I agree with most of steje's points.

I like the idea of double-click in un-occupied tab area to make new tab--defeats purpose of new tab button. And don't forget a way to specify the starting directory without being blank (see point 4 above). *** hrmm, wait, does this already work??? It looks like it is creating a duplicate tab.

I really appreciate the work put into this preview. Small points like the tab key to move between listers and display full path in title bar options are additions that are often overlooked but nuisances.

I was surprised to see tabs implemented so quickly, but I guess my original theory of it not being implented (in the manner I thought it would) was correct because of it's difficulty. I do appreciate the current tab interface over not having it, I just had my hopes up.

Thank you for the hard work and great preview.

Thanks for the feedback Zero-Point.

Well it's a good thing we won't be asking you to pay extra for it then :slight_smile:

As I've said before, an MDI interface is simply not on the cards. I'm sorry but I really don't see the point of this. You say you want a tabbed interface to reduce screen and taskbar clutter, but adding an MDI interface to the Lister would simply shift that clutter one level down.

MDI is an old-fashioned UI design that even Microsoft has moved away from. We simply won't be offering it - so you will just have to get over your disappointment.

I believe there are enough ways to open a new tab currently without adding a specific button to the tab bar. You can add a New Tab button to your toolbar if you want this sort of thing.

Sorry, what's the point of that? Buttons belong in the toolbar.

I don't really see a need for this.

Currently double-click on tab bar opens a new tab showing current folder. We will extend this to give you the choice in Preferences of current folder, default folder or empty tab.

[quote]
jon wrote:

Well it's a good thing we won't be asking you to pay extra for it then :slight_smile:[/quote]

Yes, I can be thankful for that. The reason I brought this up was because I didn't think it [full mdi] was going to happen when asked if I would pay extra.

[quote]

As I've said before, an MDI interface is simply not on the cards. I'm sorry but I really don't see the point of this. You say you want a tabbed interface to reduce screen and taskbar clutter, but adding an MDI interface to the Lister would simply shift that clutter one level down.

MDI is an old-fashioned UI design that even Microsoft has moved away from. We simply won't be offering it - so you will just have to get over your disappointment.[/quote]

Yes, I will have to. I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here, but I'm not sure I understand. I personally wanted a tabbed interface to 1) consolidate DO "windows" into one or two, but have multiple tabs/directories open, 2) to arrange my own workspace inside without having duplicate toolbars; for instance 2 side by side like a dual, and a third across the bottom, or 2 duals.

Maybe my scope of Microsoft products is limited, but I don't understand how Microsoft has moved away from an MDI. As typical examples, neither Explorer, Internet Explorer, nor notepad have used an MDI in the first place. Gosh I can't even recall Win3.1--has it really been that long?! If MDI is old-fashioned, what is the future? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, just I truly don't know, and I'm all ears.

[quote]

I believe there are enough ways to open a new tab currently without adding a specific button to the tab bar. You can add a New Tab button to your toolbar if you want this sort of thing.

Sorry, what's the point of that? Buttons belong in the toolbar.[/quote]

Yes, I don't think a dedicated new tab button is necessary, but say I have tabs spanning the entire open area such that there is no open area, then I gotta change my normal flow :wink:

The point of buttons in the tab bar area were if an MDI were implemented, they would handle the internal windows--no point if no MDI. Also, not in the toolbar because I felt "tab" related buttons belong with the tabs.

[quote]

I don't really see a need for this.[/quote]

If i wanted to customize my tab bar context menu. I probably wouldn't use the moving tab's or closing all other tabs functions, so I didn't really want them there. If there's another way...

[quote]

Currently double-click on tab bar opens a new tab showing current folder. We will extend this to give you the choice in Preferences of current folder, default folder or empty tab.[/quote]

cool.

Thanks jon.

I agree with Zero on some things as well... (right back at ya :slight_smile:)

I'm certainly 'happy' with the Folder Tab functionality that's been added! I just would have been 'even happier' if it had come along with an MDI workspace. I will of course 'get over it' also though since (Jon's comments about Microsofts' direction notwithstanding) while GP was obviously able to add the basic tab features, I believe an MDI workspace would require substantial redesign of the basic UI implementation in Opus... not a task to be taken lightly.

Having said that, I believe Jon's comments about Microsoft moving away from MDI might be based on the whole Longhorn based next-gen 3d desktop rumored to be in development over in redmond. The current Windows desktop is basically an MDI based UI and will be changing in some ways I guess. I still feel that such a workspace UI framework is useful at an application by application level. And I agree that this approach simply 'moves the clutter one level down' but so does the basic tab implementation :slight_smile: but that is entirely fine by me until GP starts shipping holographic hardware with Dopus :slight_smile:...

Thanks for the enhancements Jon! Still working on a screenshot about making the active folder tab pop a bit more to the foreground for at a glance recognition... it'll probably be a lousy example...

Would just like to add my appreciation for the continued improvements as demonstrated in Directory Opus 8.1. I noted bspeight's comment/suggestion for "Group Tabs". I think that is a feature that I would use every time I open a Lister!
Keep up the good work and again thanks for a wonderful product.